Home  › Media › Media Planning

Research Tips for Landing a First Online Media Job

  |  July 7, 2009   |  Comments

If you're just entering the media buying space, there's a lot to learn. These lists will help you get started.

Recently I had a job candidate come in for an entry-level position, and she was very interested in working in the online media planning and buying department. She was clearly a very bright candidate who was fresh out of school, but unfortunately she wasn't conversant in the standard terms and technologies associated with the trade.

Now, we don't expect entry-level people to come in knowing everything. But candidates have come in who know the fundamentals of online media and marketing, either through school or independent research, and can at carry on a conversation about it.

I gave the candidate a list of things to research on her own and invited her to contact us once she had become more familiar with the field. I realized this is a great list for entry-level candidates. Media planning and buying is all about independent research and being able to grasp complex advertising concepts and technologies. Between the vendor sites; media sites like ClickZ, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), SlideShare, YouTube, and Wikipedia; and search engines, there is more than enough info out there for candidates to get at least partially up to speed on this stuff. Frankly, this is the stuff colleges and universities should be teaching to their advertising and marketing students.

The Basics

  • Know all standard IAB banner ad units. Know their sizes, specs, and names.

  • Know the basic e-mail ad products, like e-mail rentals and newsletter sponsorships.

  • Know the major sites that would be right for the clients of the agency you're interviewing at. If the agency has a high tech company client, for example, what sites cater to IT professionals? What about a cosmetics company? What are the top sites that cater to women?

  • Know what rich media is. Check out PointRoll and EyeWonder.

  • Get a firm grasp on online video and know what pre-rolls and post-rolls are.

  • Know what a banner server is and what the process of campaign optimization is. Check out DART, MediaPlex, and Atlas DMT.

  • Know what ad networks are. Check out Burst Media, ValueClick, Platform-A and the Google's ad network.

  • Know the basic metrics of online media: impressions, clicks, click rates, action rates, conversion rates, and interaction rates.

  • Know the financial/performance/ROI (define) metrics, like CPM (define), CPC (define), CPA (define), cost per lead (CPL), cost per sale (CPS), and of course simple ROI and marketing return on investment (MROI).

  • Know basic targeting and setting parameters, like run of site (ROS), run of network (RON), demographic targeting, hyper-targeting (on profiled site like Facebook), geotargeting, dayparts, and frequency caps.

  • Know what a cookie is and the different types, such as persistent cookies. Know how cookies are used in tracking.

  • Know the major trade shows and organizations. Try to attend ad:tech even if you can just afford to walk the floor. If you live in Boston, join BIMA.

  • Know basic contract terms, such as rate card, insertion order, cancellation clause, and value add.

  • Know the basic of SEM (define) and how it integrates with online media. Know about Google AdWords, Yahoo Search, and even keyword ad placements like IntelliTXT. It wouldn't hurt to know what SEO (define) is, either.

  • Subscribe to the major media sites newsletters, such as ClickZ and IAB.

Advanced

  • Know the syndicated data, index, and research services, such as Nielsen Online, and what they report.

  • Understand underlying technologies that enable rich media, ad serving, and tracking, like Flash, tracking tags, pixel requests, retargeting, and dashboards.

  • Research nonstandard placements, like home page blocks, peel backs, social engagement ads, Facebook application sponsorships, whitepaper syndication, coregistration, advertorials, and in-video ads.

  • Know which services enable awareness studies and polling, such as Dynamic Logic and InsightExpress.

  • Understand what ad exchanges are and how they fit into the online media environment.

  • Look down the road and talk about mobile and cable TV and Internet integration and what impact that will have on interactive advertising. Check out companies like Quattro Wireless and Navic.

There's so much more I could go on about, but for any person entering the industry this is plenty to research and absorb. This may seem like a lot to a recent college grad to research, but if you walk into an interview knowing even a portion of the list, your chances of landing the job will go way up. If a person walked in conversant in the above list, I would not only hire her, I would start her at a higher salary. The ROI on the time spent doing this research would be huge.

Join us for Search Engine Strategies San Jose, August 10-14, 2009, at the McEnery Convention Center. Learn the ins and outs of SEM, including site optimization, link-building tactics, pay-per-click advertising, and landing-page testing and tuning to ensure high conversion rates.

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, August 29 to take advantage of Super Saver Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harry Gold

As founder and CEO of Overdrive, Harry Gold is the architect and conductor behind the company's ROI-driven programs. His primary mission is to create innovative marketing programs based on real-world success and to ensure the marketing and technology practices that drive those successes are continually institutionalized into the culture and methods of the agency. What excites him is the knowledge that Overdrive's collaborative environment has created a company of online media, SEM, and online behavioral experts who drive success for the clients and companies they serve. Overdrive serves a diverse base of B2B and B2C clients that demand a high level of accountability and ROI from their online programs and campaigns.

Harry started his career in 1995 when he founded online marketing firm Interactive Promotions, serving such clients as Microsoft, "The Financial Times," the Hard Rock Cafe, and the City of Boston. Since then, he has been at the forefront of online branding and channel creation, developing successful Web and search engine-based marketing programs for various agencies and Fortune 500 companies.

Harry is a frequent lecturer on SEM and online media for The New England Direct Marketing Association; Ad Club; the University of Massachusetts, Boston; Harvard University; and Boston University.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

Jobs

    • Sales Planner
      Sales Planner (Verve ) - New YorkAbout Verve   Verve is the leader in location powered mobile advertising. We manage one of the largest mobile...
    • Systems Analyst/Support
      Systems Analyst/Support (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreIRIS (Increased Revenue Intuitive Software ) is proprietary software that helps marketers...
    • Client Services Support Specialist
      Client Services Support Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - Delray Beach OVERVIEW:  This position requires a highly motivated and resourceful individual...